Rory Gilmore has a lot going on: friends, family, career. So why are Gilmore Girls fans so obsessed with her boyfriends?
During a recent interview, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino discussed the upcoming Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, as well as the public’s fascination with her characters’ love lives. The show, Sherman-Palladino says, was always about a smart, ambitious girl and her family, not about Rory’s romantic prospects. And yet ever since Netflix announced the revival, fans have spent most of their time debating Dean vs. Jess and who Rory should date in the new episodes. (All three actors will appear in the revival.) Here’s an excerpt from the interview, but look for the full story on the new Gilmore Girls episodes next week.
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We’ve talked about how the show was meant to focus on Rory’s ambition and her relationship with her family. Given that, how do you feel about the Internet’s obsession with Rory’s boyfriends—who was the best, who was the worst, which one she should end up with?
It’s a small part of who Rory is. Rory didn’t spend her days thinking, “Who am I going to end up with?” Rory was much more concerned about “How do I get that interview at the New York Times?” It’s a natural thing: People love romance. Romance is an element of every show on air, including The Sopranos or Breaking Bad.
Sometimes I wish that the Dean and Jess thing weren’t so prominent because in the grand scheme of Rory’s life, who her boyfriend was when she was 16 years old is such a small event. I don’t begrudge people the excitement of Jess and Dean. But they were there to show Rory’s evolution as a character. She picked certain boys for her depending on who she was at that moment. It was part of her character. It was part of her development that Dean was her first boyfriend, that Jess was the boy that diverted her attention. Then she wound up with Logan, and God knows where she’s been since then.
The fact that people focus on it—I don’t know. I have such great affection for all three of these boys as actors and as people. They were a very big part of the show, and frankly they were always there to feed stories about Lorelai and Rory. That was the core of everything. Lorelai’s relationships, Rory’s relationships were a way for us to explore the mother-daughter relationship.
The fact that people love them and are excited about them is great. It’s just such a small part of who Rory is. I don’t see people debating “What newspaper is Rory’s working for?” “Did she win a Pulitzer yet?” It’s all about Dean and Jess. Dean was 16 years old when they dated. Everybody should go back and think about their boyfriend at 16 and then reevaluate whether that should be the focus of the conversation.